Just realized how many months I'd failed to send out the "monthly" FAQ! Oops! Let's try to shorten some of these long quotes from prior messages... Bill "List Mom" ----------------------------------------- FutureBASIC List "Rules" The FutureBASIC mailing list is a free service to the FutureBASIC programming community, courtesy of ListServ@... - Mailing Lists like: Kid-MissionFriends, FutureBASIC, MediaWatch, CultWatch, Ladies_Fellowship, CN-World, and Inspirations. (Thanks Glen!) This list is available by subscription to anyone interested in Staz Software's FutureBASIC programming language for the Macintosh. List members include "raw beginners" through published "commercial" software authors; we are all here to ask and answer questions, so don't be afraid to ask the one that's bothering you! This is however a support list - it is not a "chat line". PLEASE limit your postings to FB-related questions and answers, or items of general interest to the Mac programming community that are not better handled "elsewhere". Many of the people on this list get literally hundreds of email messages every day; "me too" posts and funny stories about what your cat/dog/kid did last night are probably not appreciated. ** Labelling Information ** With the release of FB^3, the question of "What version of FB are you using?" has become even more pertinent. If you are seeking help or advice then please indicate in your subject: FB1 - FutureBASIC V1.x FBII - FutureBASIC II FB^3 - FutureBASIC^3 In the absence of a clear label, members of the list will assume that you are using FBII (This will probably change in time as FB^3 becomes more widely available, so bear this in mind). Your question may also concern PG:PRO, so in this case you should mention PG - PG:PRO with FBII PG^3 - PG:PRO with FB^3 Because of the new possibilities in FB^3, please indicate in your mail, not the subject, which runtime you are using, whether you are working on 68K, PPC or Fat code, and the principal preference options, notably Register Vars, QuickBasic Labels... as these can alter drastically the way that the Compiler works. If you say "FB^3", we'll assume the latest Release. If you're behind a release, tell us. If you're ahead, see below. Special Information for FB^3 and PG^3 Please do _not_ send compiler bug reports to the FutureBASIC mailing list. If you are a Beta tester then use the channels that are already in place, otherwise please send bug reports directly to staz@.... Please do not cross-post to the FB list. We can't fix those - only Staz & company can. Please also keep in mind that the FB list is a public list, with a publicly available and searchable archive. So keep comments neutral: just requests for help, demands for explanations, help on conversions, spotlights on new features and different implementations of keywords etc. If a problem occurs only in a beta and not the latest "released" version, don't post it here. The FB list is also not the place to post feature requests for FB^3 Release X. The correct way to do this is to mail staz@stazsoftware with the label [WISHLIST] in the subject line. Please do not cross post these messages to the FB list. ***************** PLEASE read the "netiquette" section at the bottom of this message! Please contact the list moderator <mailto:BMichael@...> if you have trouble subscribing/unsubscribing, or if you have any complaint about the postings of another list member. Please contact the list owner <mailto:futurebasic-owner@...> if you have any server-related questions or problems. (Um. The "owner" address just gets forwarded to BMichael at this point... so it really doesn't matter which you use.) And please -- don't try forever and put off contacting us until you're frustrated and angry. That doesn't do anything but create problems, either. If it doesn't work the first couple of times, it won't work the 50th, and it isn't good for either of us if you wait until the first message to the List Admin is incoherent and/or hostile. (hint: users should not be abusive to the person they're asking to do something for them. Amazing how often this is forgotten...) --- Here are the list server command addresses: I can handle administrative requests automatically. Just send an empty note (I don't read the contents) to any of these addresses: <mailto:futurebasic-subscribe@...> : Receive future messages sent to the mailing list. <mailto:futurebasic-unsubscribe@...>: Stop receiving messages. <mailto:futurebasic-digest-subscribe@...>: Receive mailing list messages at approximately 5am & 5pm EST as a digest. <mailto:futurebasic-digest-unsubscribe@...>: Stop receiving digests. <mailto:futurebasic-get.12_45@...>: Retrieve a copy of messages 12 to 45 from the archive. A maximum of 50 messages are returned per request. <mailto:futurebasic-thread.12345@...>: Retrieve a copy of all messages with the same subject as message 12345 from the archive. <mailto:futurebasic-index.123_456@...>: Retrieve subjects of messages, including 123 though 456 from the archive. Subjects are returned in sets of 100. A maximum of 2000 subjects are returned per request. DO NOT SEND ADMINISTRATIVE REQUESTS TO THE MAILING LIST! If you do, I won't see them, and subscribers will yell at you. To specify God@... as your subscription address, send mail to futurebasic-subscribe-God=heaven.af.mil@.... I'll send a confirmation message to that address; when you receive that message, simply reply to it to complete your subscription. (Likewise to unsubscribe an address where you can still receive mail, but can't send it - a condition that will lead the server to bounce your mail as your new address is "not a subscriber". You can also contact the list owner to have multiple "send-allowed" variations of an account.) If you lose this FAQ, a version is posted online at futurebasic.org. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ --- Netiquette; being a good net citizen (Thanks in part to the "list gnome" at Apple, Chuq Von Rospach!) We request that everyone who uses this mailing list help us in making this a fun, interesting and useful place to be. There are certain rules that we ask everyone to follow so that everyone understands what is expected of them as a user of this list, and to make administration and management of these lists as consistent and fair as we can. ++++++++++The necessary disclaimers If the Moderators decide a user is a destructive influence or is found to be abusive to the list, its users, the hardware or the list administrators, we may revoke your privileges to use the mailing list. Using these lists is a privilege, not a right. We do have a Virtual Bouncer. Ours is named Guido, and he's hung-over and grumpy. Do not force us to wake him up. We don't like pulling rank. Sometimes we have to. If a Moderator writes you and asks you to do something, please cooperate with us. Please, though, don't act like we're staring over your shoulders: if you're doing something we'd rather you not do, we'll let you know. If you don't get e-mail from the Moderator, then everything is fine. It is our policy to try to work with people to get their message across in the best way possible. We expect everyone to act like mature, intelligent adults, and to treat each other courteously. Pretend you're all in a room together, and that your Mother is watching. If you wouldn't do something while you were in the same room as a person, don't do it here. That's all we really ask. ++++++++++Where to get more information All of the services available on this system, and the instructions for using them, are available by e-mailing <mailto:futurebasic-help@...>. That will send you a file which will help you find what you want and tell you how to use it. ++++++++++Rules for using the FutureBASIC mailing list Do not send list administration commands to the mailing list. All subscribe or unsubscribe commands should be sent to the "command" addresses listed above. As a policy, we do not respond to mail sent to the wrong address except to remind people how to do it properly -- this is to not encourage people to develop lazy habits by being able to "get away" with the wrong behavior. Our interest is in teaching you how to do it right, even if it takes us more time as admins -- because it helps people learn how to work properly with all mailing lists. Stay on topic. Each list has a charter of acceptable content and topics. Do not post things to the list that are not part of that charter, for any reason. It doesn't matter how important you think it is -- if it's off-topic, it's not appropriate for the list. This rule specifically includes postings on chain letters, new viruses, rumors, warnings, and get well cards (Craig Shergold does not need any more postcards. Really.) Anyone who posts on the "Good Time Virus" (which is a hoax) will be lined up against a virtual brick wall and virtually shot. If you do have a "semi-acceptable" posting, that's only slightly off topic, please include [X-FB] in the subject line... This mailing list is rated PG-13. Strong emotions and heated discussion happen and are part of discussing things people care strongly about -- but that is no excuse for abusive language, using obscene language just for shock value, or attacking other users. We do have younger members, and abusive users will be removed. VERY IMPORTANT: Do not play Topic Cop. PLEASE leave that to the List Moderator. A lot of work is done behind the scenes via private e-mail. Most of the time, people who try to do the List Moderators' job for them only make the situation worse. If you have a problem with something that's been posted to a list, e-mail your comments to the Moderators and let the Moderators deal with it. NO SPELLING OR GRAMMAR FLAMES. And having said that, while spelling and grammar counts, flames about them are really lame, especially because about 70% of the time the person doing the flaming misspells something in his flame. Go figure. Don't embarrass yourself with stupid kid stuff like this. We have more important things to argue about. Do not post to multiple mailing lists, or post the same request multiple times. Find the most appropriate list and post it there. If you don't get an answer the first time, asking again won't help (if we knew the answer, we would have said so...) However, there ARE times that a question can "slip through the cracks", so if you don't get ANY response within a couple of days, a "gentle reminder" with additional information, or a rewording of your original request, might be advisable. Please realize however that not all questions CAN be answered here - some may better be addressed to Staz Software's technical support group. You must be a subscriber of the list to post to it. We do not allow non-subscribers to send messages to our lists. The server is very picky about your address -- you MUST post messages and list administration from the account you originally signed up from. If your address changes or things stop working for some reason, please contact <mailto:BMichael@...> for help in getting it fixed. If you can't find the answer in the documentation, then help us write new material for the FAQ or Web Page to answer the question for the next person who needs it. Don't assume the Moderator will be able to pull the answers off the list and add them to the FAQ -- we need sleep like everyone else, and can't do everything, so please work with us by writing up summaries of the answers and submitting them to the Moderator for inclusion in the list's documentation. (We aren't talking about FB questions here, but list questions...) Do not post copyrighted material. It's illegal to type in an article verbatim, or re-post one from an on-line service. (Yes, we know it happens all over the net. That doesn't make it right or legal.) If you do it, you put yourself and the List Owners at risk if the copyright holder decides to sue. You CAN post a pointer, summarize what the work is saying, post quotes from the work within the boundaries of fair use. If you aren't sure that what you want to do is legal, ask the Moderators for advice. This SPECIFICALLY includes "third party" source code, such as snippets from Function Junction III, etc. - not everyone here owns every FB-related product, and the authors of those products will be quite unhappy to see their hard work "given away" here. No Piracy or "Warez" discussions, please, other than relating to programmatic methods of avoiding same. We do not allow any kind of buy/sell messages in the mailing list, except with previous approval of the Moderator. If you aren't absolutely sure, ask for permission first. Commercial postings are not allowed on the list except by previous approval of the Moderator. We do not want blatant sales hype and pitches. The Moderator is willing help you write your posting to be acceptable if it's possible. We DO want announcements of new FB-related products, so do ask! You may not use addresses obtained from this list to harass others or send them offensive, abusive or commercial e-mail. If we find out that people are sending commercial solicitations or abusive e-mail to users of our lists, the offender will be removed from the lists and possibly reported to his site administrators. Anonymous remailers may not be used to subscribe or post to mailing lists. Any user found subscribed from an anonymous account will be removed from the system. We believe everyone should be responsible for what they say, and sending mail anonymously defeats that. If you aren't willing to sign your name to your posting, we aren't interested in reading it. If you use a "vacation" program while away from your e-mail, make sure that it is smart enough to not send messages to the mailing lists or to users who post to the mailing list. If your "vacation" program starts nattering at the list or list members, we will unsubscribe you until you return. Please don't send "me too" messages to the list. All they add is noise. If someone else has answered the question before you, don't answer it again. If someone offers to send something to people, then e-mail them privately. Don't send the "send it to me" message to the list. Do not post any files that use MIME or include enclosures. Not everyone can read MIME files, and large, attached files are not appreciated by many. If you have something you want to make available, put it on an FTP site and send a pointer to the list. Please do not attach large files of any type, no matter how generally useful they may be. The futurebasic.org website is available to host any generally-useful FB-related materials, at no charge; you may FTP such to <ftp://ftp.futurebasic.org/futurebasic/DropBox/>, but please follow the "posting rules" available on the website, so the moderator can figure out what to do with these files... Watch your "reply to"s! If you want to reply to the individual who sent a message, and not to the entire list, you'll normally need to do that manually. The "default" reply to address is the list. ++++++++++Suggestions for improving your messages Keep postings as short as possible. The longer your message, the more it rambles, the harder you make it for someone to figure out what you need or what you're saying -- the fewer people will read or respond to your message. However, small "snippets" of troublesome code are usually easier to "debug" than even the best verbal description of the problem. If you include quoted material, edit it ruthlessly. Edit, edit, edit! Delete ALL text in the reply except the phrase you're responding to. There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- more frustrating to users of mail lists than people who include 200 lines from a previous message, and tack on a two or three line reply to it. It's an amazing waste of bandwidth and list-goodwill, and lazy to boot. Keep signatures as short as possible. Or don't use them. Signatures are there to identify you, not to be used for ascii pictures of the Death Star or copies of War and Peace. Keep Subject lines relevant. If the topic changes, change the Subject. But don't change the Subject unless the topic has totally changed. If you're quoting from another message, that's a good hint that the subject line should not be changed. Remember that the list is archived, and the digests sorted, by SUBJECT! Changing the subject "breaks" the threads. If you read the DIGEST and respond to a message in it, CHANGE THE SUBJECT. If you don't, it'll read "Re: Digest #...", which many users won't read and which doesn't tell people what the message is about. Ask yourself if it's necessary to post to the entire list. If you aren't sure, e-mail it privately to the person you're responding to. Spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting all count. Take some time to make your messages look good. If you don't take pride in your words, why should anyone read them? Just tossing off text that looks like it was printed by a malfunctioning printer serves neither you nor your ideas well. Take a few minutes to clean things up and make them look like you care -- or nobody else will, either. (iF yOU LiKe tO USe fUNny CaPS, grEAT; but do it ElSeWhErE!) [likewise poetry] Long text lines _with_ carriage returns often cause problems when quoted multiple times. If possible, either set your email program not to break lines at all, allowing the recipient's email program to do the formatting, or break your lines around 70 characters - NOT 80. Look at your own postings in a "text only" email reader, like Claris EMailer (V1.x is free if you can find it). Don't send HTMLized mail, and try to eliminate annoying "extra" characters at the start of every line. (LF from a PC program?) Many list members are "behind the technology curve" on email programs. Some of us by choice. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ If you have any questions or comments about this FAQ, please feel free to email the moderator at <mailto:BMichael@...>. Thank you!